A Kitchen Slicer is one item I own that I feel is indispensable. It’s not that I use it so often, it’s more of a case that nothing I have replaces it. Having one, I find myself using it for so many things.
My Kitchen Slicer is a foldable one, so I can store it out of the way, and it is old; about 20 years or so. I paid about thirty bucks or so for it; oddly enough, it still runs for about the same price.
That being said, you get what you pay for – mine is a little rickety, the button is a bit awkward to use, it doesn’t always slice “perfectly” and it is a bit of a mess to clean. The latter, I’m sure is true of all kitchen slicers.
What I like about it?
- It has saved me a ton of money and time over the years.
- It folds away and goes back in its small box in an out of the way cupboard.
- It makes quick work of slicing almost anything that won’t go in the food processor.
- It was very inexpensive – even if it hadn’t lasted so long, I could have replaced it many, many times before I even began to approach the cost of an expensive one.
What do I do with it?
- Use it to slice turkey, ham and left over chicken for lunch meat – since I buy all of these items at a rock bottom price, I’ve saved a lot of money.
- I use for slicing roast beef for Italian beef sandwiches, for slicing steak for Philadelphia cheese steak. I’ve even used it to slice left over roast or pot roast for sandwiches.
- It makes wonderful work of thinly slicing things like chicken, beef or pork for stir fry – since I often buy sales priced proteins in larger quantities, it makes it worthwhile to pull out the slicer, cut, and portion it for the freezer.
- It can’t be beat for beautifully slicing up Brisket, like for my Corned Beef & Cabbage. That same brisket can be cut more thinly for Reuben’s.
- It cuts through home-made bread like a dream, making slices uniform and even for all kinds of sandwiches. Great way to portion control and avoid having to eat a “hunk.”
- It works wonderfully for slicing things like Salami or cheese for a tray or a party.
- Make short work of slicing cheese into beautiful slices (sliced cheese costs more than block cheese in my area of the country.)
- I slice the large quantity of onions needed for French Onion Soup. Since pole to pole is the best way to slice the onions, the only other way to properly slice them is by hand. It takes for ever (and a few tears) to slice by hand or mandolin, and the food processor doesn’t do the greatest job.
- I use it to slice potatoes when I make potato chips, or planks of potato or sweet potato for fries (just stack and slice them.)
- I also use it for other vegetables, especially if I need any quantity, like for a party or a potluck: Fennel, tomatoes, etc. Cabbage shreds beautifully for slaw.
- I’ve even used it to very thinly slice up oranges and lemons for marmalade.
- I’d like to thank Wendy J. for suggesting using the slicer when dehydrating foods! The precision of the thickness and cuts would mean items would all dry at about the same time. Think fruits, vegetables & jerky!
Since it’s normally tucked away, I don’t always think of it for every day uses – perhaps if I had more cupboard space, I’d use it more often. I do, however, find it indispensible after Holidays in dealing with the left overs – we love slicing up turkey and/or ham for our hot broiled sandwiches, for instance. My kids have always loved the thin slices over “hand carved.”
Let’s talk about saving money:
Frankly, I have friends who wouldn’t dream of spending $5.99 a pound for beef tenderloin when it is on special around the holidays. They were stunned one New Years when I had them over for filet mignon (that I cut myself from the tenderloin into steaks.) They asked more than once how I could afford it. (See, I’ve tried to help them out from time to time, and used myself a an example, so they knew I really watch my grocery budget.) Tenderloin is an indulgence, and worth every penny. I think it cost about 35 bucks for the steak.
These friends regularly buy lunch meat, don’t use coupons and don’t shop the best sales. They stand there and grab what “looks” like the best deal – you know what I mean, I’m sure! The one with the biggest and most sale stickers that week! They pay a lot for those little packages, up to $3.99 for 8 ounces – yep – that’s about $8.00 a pound – way more than my tenderloin!
Worse, this is a staple in their house bought week after week, and with several kids they’ll go through four or five packages a week. That’s about $1,037 a year. Just in lunchmeat! If they were to just cook a ham or turkey every so often (if you have a freezer, pick up a few every holiday when they’re cheap) and slice it up, they’d be paying about 89 dollars for the same amount. Wow, a difference of nearly a $1.000.00.
I can’t even begin to tell you how badly they shop, yet they’re always eating the cheapest foods they can and they struggle to keep groceries in the house. This family went two years without an air conditioner because they couldn’t afford one, and many, many months without a dryer because it was such a hardship to buy one. Finally, after months of looking they found a great deal and saved themselves about $200.00.
When you get that excited phone call, how do you tell them that they always had the money they needed for these things, they just “ate it up” carelessly, week after week, month after month? You don’t, of course.
Items for the home or kitchen that SAVE you money are always worthwhile expenditures, investments, really. We rarely eat lunchmeat type sandwiches, but my slicer paid for itself within the first five pounds.
I’m also able to avoid all the extra packaging and all the additives (except the ones already in the meat I’m slicing.)
When I was on crutches and needed to bring something to a Christmas party and stopped at the store and picked up a meat/cheese tray. There was no price, and I knew it would be expensive, but it was $25.00 when I got to the check out! It had two little packages of crackers and a few ounces each of Salami and Cheese. Had I bought my own and sliced it, especially if I bought it on sale, with a coupon, it would have been about $4.00, and at regular price probably about $8.00 to 10.00.
- Food Processor: I do own one, but it just doesn’t make clean beautiful slices like my Kitchen Slicer does.
- Mandolin: I’d wanted one for years, but they’re expensive. I found mine at a second-hand shop and use it for quite a few things, but again, it just doesn’t do the same job. The cheapest one I’d priced out was $69.00, and that was a few years ago.
- Kitchen Knife: Yes, I know, and I use mine often, and use it well – but never can I carve those perfectly wafer thin slices of lunch meat my family loves.
For me, a Kitchen Slicer is an essential piece of equipment and has earned its cupboard space.